WE HAVE A HEALTHY CRAVING for quiet solitude.
I know there are a few people who are afraid of being alone,
but the rest of us find it soothing and rejuvenating and it doesn't
happen nearly as much as we'd like.
Solitude is therapeutic. Spending time
in solitude doing what you want at a pace that is natural to
you, without any interruptions, without having to take others
into consideration, without any external pressures or the need
to hurry, is deeply satisfying and personally I classify it as
a psychological need.
It is unnatural for human beings to have
no time to think. It serves an important function, I think, much
in the same way dreaming does. Dreaming may seem to be a waste
of time, but when people are prevented from dreaming allowed
to sleep as much as they want but awakened when they start to
dream after a short while, they begin to hallucinate while
they're awake. Dreaming is necessary for mental health.
Solitude and time to think is necessary
too, I believe. If you prevent yourself from having time to do
nothing, by yourself, allowing free time to think naturally,
it makes you less calm, less rational, less happy, less sane,
than you otherwise would be. Although I have no experiments I
can point to that would validate that assertion, I believe it's
true, based on what I know.
In solitude, in the absence of interruptions
and distractions, the mind naturally drifts to solving problems,
trying out solutions, imagining conversations.
In "primitive" societies, where
people don't have the pressures and multi-tasking and so many
different forms of diversion, mental illness is almost nonexistent.
Of course, too much time alone isn't healthy
either. It's like anything else, you need balance. Not enough
exercise is unhealthy, but too much exercise can put you in the
But I think most of us are deficient
in solitude and need more of it. Finding it and doing it will
require some ingenuity on your part. But you can do it.
Get enough time alone.